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Become A Peer Counselor

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Working As A Peer Counselor

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Peer Counselor Do

School counselors help students develop academic and social skills and succeed in school. Career counselors assist people with the process of making career decisions by helping them develop skills or choose a career or educational program.

Duties

School counselors typically do the following:

  • Evaluate students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning
  • Identify issues that impact school performance, such as poor classroom attendance rates
  • Help students understand and overcome social or behavioral problems through classroom guidance lessons and counseling
  • Counsel individuals and small groups on the basis of student and school needs
  • Work with students to develop skills, such as organizational and time management abilities and effective study habits
  • Help students create a plan to achieve academic and career goals
  • Collaborate with teachers, administrators, and parents to help students succeed
  • Teach students and school staff about certain topics, such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college or careers after graduation
  • Report possible cases of neglect or abuse and refer students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support

The specific duties of school counselors vary with the ages of their students.

Elementary school counselors focus on helping students develop certain skills, such as those used in decisionmaking and studying, that they need in order to be successful in their social and academic lives. They meet with parents or guardians to discuss their child’s strengths and weaknesses, and any possible special needs and behavioral issues. School counselors also work with teachers and administrators to ensure that the curriculum addresses both the developmental and academic needs of students.

Middle school counselors work with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate and atmosphere for students to achieve academic success. They help the students develop the skills and strategies necessary to succeed academically and socially.

High school counselors advise students in making academic and career plans. Many help students overcome personal issues that interfere with their academic development. They help students choose classes and plan for their lives after graduation. Counselors provide information about choosing and applying for colleges, training programs, financial aid, and internships and apprenticeships. They may present career workshops to help students search and apply for jobs, write résumés, and improve their interviewing skills.

Career counselors typically do the following:

  • Use aptitude and achievement assessments to help clients evaluate their interests, skills, and abilities
  • Evaluate clients’ background, education, and training, to help them develop realistic goals
  • Guide clients through making decisions about their careers, such as choosing a new profession and the type of degree to pursue
  • Help clients learn job search skills, such as interviewing and networking
  • Assist clients in locating and applying for jobs, by teaching them strategies to find openings and how to write a résumé
  • Advise clients on how to resolve problems in the workplace, such as conflicts with bosses or coworkers
  • Help clients select and apply for educational programs, to obtain the necessary degrees, credentials, and skills

Career counselors work with clients at various stages of their careers. Some work in colleges. They may help students choose a major or help students determine what jobs they are qualified for with their degrees.

Career counselors also work with people who have already entered the workforce. These counselors develop plans to improve their client’s current career. They also provide advice about entering a new profession.

Some career counselors work in outplacement firms and assist laid-off workers with transitioning into new jobs or careers. Others work in corporate career centers to assist employees in making decisions about their career path within the company.

Career counselors who work in private practice must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with clients to receive payments for their services.

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How To Become A Peer Counselor

Most school counselors must have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field and have a state-issued credential. Some employers prefer that career counselors have a master’s degree. Career counselors who work in private practices may also need a license.

Education

Most states require school counselors to have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field. Programs in school counseling teach students about fostering academic development; conducting group and individual counseling; working with parents, school staff, and community organizations; and using data to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school counseling programs for all students. These programs often require students to gain experience through an internship or practicum.

Some employers prefer that career counselors have a master’s degree in counseling with a focus on career development. Career counseling programs prepare students to assess clients’ skills and interests and to teach career development techniques. Many programs require students to have a period of supervised experience, such as an internship.  

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Public school counselors must have a state-issued credential to practice. This credential can be called a certification, a license, or an endorsement, depending on the state. Licensure or certification typically requires a master’s degree in school counseling and an internship or practicum completed under the supervision of a licensed professional school counselor.

Some states require applicants to have 1 to 2 years of classroom teaching experience, or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified. Most states require a criminal background check as part of the credentialing process. Information about requirements for each state is available from the American School Counselor Association.

Although some employers prefer to hire licensed career counselors, licensure is not required by all states. Contact information for state regulating boards is available from the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Although most states do not require work experience in a related occupation, some states require school counselors to have 1 to 2 years of classroom teaching experience, or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified. Please see the Similar Occupations tab for more information on teaching occupations.

Important Qualities

Compassion. School and career counselors often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients and students.

Interpersonal skills. School and career counselors must be able to work with different types of people. They spend most of their time working directly with clients, students, or other professionals and need to form and maintain good working relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for school and career counselors. They need to give their full attention to students and clients in order to understand their problems.

Speaking skills. School and career counselors must communicate effectively with clients and students. They should express ideas and information in a way that their clients and students understand easily.

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Peer Counselor Career Paths

Peer Counselor
Counselor Therapist Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Counselor Clinician Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Counselor Team Leader Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Tutor Lead Teacher Assistant Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Instructor Lead Teacher
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Teacher Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Teacher Program Coordinator Clinician
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Consultant Program Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Social Worker Clinical Social Worker
Social Work Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant Principal
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Supervisor Program Director
Director Of Outreach
6 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Therapist Mental Health Case Manager
Housing Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Therapist Program Manager Associate Director
Finance Aid Director
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Human Resources Generalist Recruitment Manager
Assistant Director Of Admissions
5 Yearsyrs
Resident Assistant Program Coordinator Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for A Peer Counselor

  1. Mental Health Services
  2. Crisis Intervention
  3. WIC
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide companionship, support and comfort to persons receiving Mental Health Services in Adult Inpatient.
  • Skilled in effective communication and assessing crisis interventions including: minor-age, manipulative, abusive, and mental health emergencies.
  • Managed an assigned caseload of WIC participants by routinely reviewing all cases to ensure program compliance and eligibility.
  • Collaborated with members of a multidisciplinary team to provide community outreach and advocacy for at risk veterans.
  • Interacted with students and parents regularly via telephone and in-person in effort to alleviate issues regarding financial aid information.

Peer Counselor Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 4,660 Peer Counselor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Peer Counselor Resume

View Resume Examples

Peer Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

58.9%

Male

27.5%

Unknown

13.6%
Ethnicity

White

57.2%

Hispanic or Latino

19.3%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.7%

French

9.1%

Chinese

5.5%

Mandarin

4.4%

Arabic

3.1%

Japanese

2.6%

Portuguese

1.8%

German

1.8%

Cantonese

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Hebrew

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Korean

1.0%

Thai

1.0%

Hindi

0.8%

Russian

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Hmong

0.5%

Filipino

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%
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Peer Counselor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

9.7%

Mississippi State University

7.2%

New York University

6.6%

Liberty University

6.2%

State University of New York Albany

5.6%

San Francisco State University

5.0%

Walden University

4.7%

Bard College

4.5%

Capella University

4.3%

Brown University

4.1%

John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York

4.1%

Brandeis University

3.7%

Delaware State University

3.7%

Columbia University

3.7%

Ashford University

3.5%

University of California - Davis

3.5%

Grand Canyon University

3.5%

Claflin University

3.3%

University of California - Riverside

3.1%
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Majors

Psychology

21.0%

Business

9.7%

Social Work

8.4%

Sociology

5.7%

Criminal Justice

5.5%

Nursing

4.8%

Counseling Psychology

4.6%

Communication

4.5%

Mental Health Counseling

4.4%

Human Services

4.2%

School Counseling

4.1%

English

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Biology

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

Political Science

2.6%

Public Health

2.4%

Education

2.4%

Medical Assisting Services

2.3%

Management

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.2%

Masters

21.7%

Other

17.9%

Associate

7.9%

Certificate

4.0%

Doctorate

1.9%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.3%
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